Kansas Supreme Court Blocks Gay Marriage Licenses
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Supreme Court has blocked the state's most populous county, Johnson, from issuing marriage licenses to gay couples, hours after the first one was issued under an order from a lower-court judge. The Supreme Court issued a three-page order in response to a petition filed by Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt. The high court said it acted for "statewide consistency." The Supreme Court set a hearing for November 6th. Schmidt argued that the chief district court judge in Johnson County exceeded his authority in ordering clerks and other judges to approve marriage applications from gay couples, despite a ban on gay marriage in the state constitution. Judge Kevin Moriarty issued his order after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear appeals from five other states seeking to preserve their bans.
ACLU Files Lawsuit Against Kansas Gay Marriage Ban
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a federal lawsuit against Kansas' ban on same-sex marriage on behalf of two couples who were denied marriage licenses this week. The lawsuit filed Friday challenges a state law against gay marriage and a provision added to the state constitution in 2005 prohibiting same-sex marriages. The defendants are court clerks in Douglas and Sedgwick counties, along with the secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. The agency furnishes marriage license forms and keeps marriage records. The couples in the lawsuit are Kail Marie and Michelle Brown, of Lecompton, and Kerry Wilks and Donna DiTrani of Wichita. A Johnson County court office issued a same-sex marriage license yesterday (FRI,) but Attorney General Derek Schmidt asked the Kansas Supreme Court to block such actions.
Kansas Judge Doesn't Regret Action on Gay Marriage
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas judge who cleared the way for a gay marriage in the state's most populous county says he doesn't regret his action. But Chief Johnson County District Court Judge Kevin Moriarty says some of his colleagues disagreed with him. An administrative order from Moriarty led the court clerk's office issued a marriage license Friday to a gay couple, but hours later, the Kansas Supreme Court temporarily blocked additional same-sex marriage licenses. The Kansas Constitution bans gay marriage. But Moriarty's order noted the U.S. Supreme Court's refusal Monday to hear appeals from five states seeking to preserve similar bans. With Kansas receiving national attention — and its courts receiving criticism from conservatives — Moriarty responded in a statement Friday.
Kansas, Oklahoma May Trade Turnpike Access
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma Turnpike Authority says Oklahoma motorists heading into Kansas will soon be able to use their Pikepass on Kansas toll roads, and Kansas drivers will be able to use K-Tags on Oklahoma's turnpikes. The OTA said yesterday (FRI) that it's finalized an agreement with the Kansas Turnpike Authority that will go into effect November 1st. The Kansas Turnpike Authority operates a toll road on Interstate 35 from the Kansas-Oklahoma border into the Kansas City, Kansas area. In addition to Oklahoma motorists using Pikepass, Kansas Turnpike Authority customers will be able to use their K-Tag on all Oklahoma turnpikes.
Mayors of Baltimore, Kansas City Wager on Baseball
BALTIMORE (AP) — Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is proposing a wager to the mayor of Kansas City, Missouri as the Orioles face the Kansas City Royals in the American League Championship Series. Rawlings-Blake predicted Friday the Orioles will win the series. When that happens, she wants Kansas City Mayor Sly James to record a video in full Orioles gear to congratulate Baltimore. Rawlings-Blake is also calling for Kansas City to light its city hall in orange, rename its Baltimore Avenue to "Baltimore Orioles Avenue" and donate fitness equipment to Baltimore recreation centers. If the Kansas City Royals win, James has asked Rawlings-Blake to rename Baltimore's blue crabcakes to "Royal blue crabcakes," travel to Kansas City to read to local students and post a video of her singing Lorde's hit single "Royals."
Gordon-led Royals Beat Orioles 8-6 in ALCS
BALTIMORE (AP) — Alex Gordon hit a tiebreaking homer in the 10th inning, Mike Moustakas added a two-run shot and the Kansas City Royals defeated the Baltimore Orioles 8-6 last (FRI) night in the opener of the AL Championship Series. Earlier, Gordon doubled in three runs, was picked off first base, made a great catch in left field and got hit in the neck with a pitch. His homer off Darren O'Day sent the Royals toward their fourth extra-inning victory in five games this postseason. The Orioles tried to rally in the 10th. Pinch-hitter Delmon Young hit an RBI single with two outs, but closer Greg Holland retired Nick Markakis on a grounder with two runners on for the final out in the rain shortly before 1 a.m. Game 2 is this afternoon. Rookie right-hander Yordano Ventura makes his second postseason start for the Royals against either Wei-Yin Chen or Bud Norris.